One Degree of Separation

First and foremost, we’d like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas. We thought it might be nice to start the New Year with an interesting combination of coffees. Our Ethiopian Double Bill (available on our website) profiles two coffees from the same mill, differing only by the processing method used to remove the coffee bean from the cherry. This results in two very different coffees.

Both methods of processing start with coffee cherries. The first stage in the natural processed method, is the sorting of the cherries, which is all undertaken by hand. The ripe cherries are then spread out on patios to dry in the sun. This can take around two weeks and during this period the cherries are turned on a regular basis to ensure even drying. By the end of the drying period, the cherries will be dark in colour and fully dried. A milling machine can then be used to effectively rip the seeds (coffee beans) out of the fruit.

We’re now left with coffee beans surrounded by a hard layer which is called ‘parchment’ (the beans themselves are called parchment at this stage). The parchment is often rested before being dry milled to finally reveal the green coffee bean.

Because the coffee beans spend more time in contact with the cherry during this method, you can expect more of the fruit to be evident in the cup. We also find natural processed cherries can be very sweet. On occasions, these coffees can reveal surprising flavours!

The washed method starts with the same coffee cherries, but the first stage is de-pulping. This involves passing the cherries through a machine to remove the outer skin and much of the flesh. The seeds are then placed in washing tanks and covered in water. The remaining flesh is firmly attached to the seeds, so a process of fermentation is required to remove it all. This can take up to two days and requires carefully monitoring of the acidity levels in the water.

At the end of the fermentation stage, the seeds are rinsed in water to remove any final traces of flesh and we are once again left with parchment, though this time everything is very wet. The parchment now needs to be dried and in the case of Gigesa Guji, this occurs on raised beds, which allows for airflow to prevent mould occurring. During this period, the parchment will be sorted again to ensure only the best quality coffee moves beyond this stage.

Once dried, the final stage is the same as for natural processed coffees. The parchment is removed at the dry mill to finally reveal the green coffee bean.

Fully washed coffees often have a greater acidity than those processed using the natural method. While a degree of fruitiness might still be present, this will be nowhere near that of a natural processed method. We also class fully washed coffees as having a clean cup - by that we mean lacking and defects in flavour.

017687 76979 • www.carvetiicoffee


The concept of residential courses for adults, when it became especially popular in this country in the 1950s, was then seen almost as a duty, accepting a responsibility to improve oneself and society at a crucial time.

These days, going away for an intensive ‘fix’ is seen more as a leisure pursuit - to some an indulgence, to some a passion. In the modern context, it is also an opportunity for social interaction and mental stimulation - both significant contributors to a longer healthy life. In 2006, Higham could count 27 other similar colleges around the UK. The majority were council-owned for the educational and developmental needs of their regional adult populations.

Today, in 2017, we count just half that number of colleges. For survival, most have become independent

Higham, each with their own

specialisms but with a reach far beyond their locality. Indeed, Higham, with its brochure of day and multi-day courses across the arts, humanities and sciences, attracts adults from all over the country, and is a national leading example of how a residential college can survive successfully today as a self-supporting centre for lifelong learning.

Some people travel many, many miles just for the Higham experience.

like We wish you all a Happy Christmas!

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